As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #6 Fedor Tyutin take out #11 Karel Rachunek. Today’s matchup is #3 Marian Gaborik vs. #14 Matt Gilroy:
Marian Gaborik (acquired – 2009 unrestricted free agent)
Following the Scott Gomez trade, the Rangers targeting the best scorer on the 2009 free agent market, landing Marian Gaborik to a five year contract worth $7.5 million annually. That first season, Gaborik came as advertised, putting up 42-44-86 while playing 76 games. The second year, Gaborik also came as advertised, as he suffered an injury and his on-ice performance suffered to the tune of 22-26-48 in 62 games. Following a rebound year in 2011-2012 (41-35-76 in 82 games), Gaborik really struggled in the lockout year (following offseason shoulder surgery), putting up just 9-10-19 in 35 games before getting shipped to Columbus.
The gripe most fans have with Gaborik is that he wasn’t consistent, but I don’t think that’s fair. In 3.5 seasons, Gaborik had a pair of 40-goal years, and he played with a pretty bad shoulder in the 2012 playoff run. It’s tough to ask more of Gaborik, who put up 114-115-229 in 255 games. He fulfilled his role as top-line scorer.
In need of depth, the Rangers sent Gaborik to the Blue Jackets (with a pair of AHLers) for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, and a 2014 6th round pick. The trade got the Rangers to the playoffs, but most will remember Gaborik not for his 40-goal years, but for his struggles coming out of lockout #3.
Matt Gilroy (acquired – 2009 undrafted free agent)
Gilroy signed with the Rangers after leading Boston University to an NCAA Championship in one of the most improbable comebacks in Frozen Four history. When coming to the NHL, Gilroy was thrust into the lineup right away. His numbers aren’t exactly awful (7-19-26 in 127 games over two seasons), but Gilroy clearly had some defensive issues with his game. His inability to play consistent, defensive hockey led to his demotion to 7th defenseman and eventually his departure from New York in 2011.
The Rangers brought Gilroy back to New York after the lockout, where he again served as a depth defenseman (8th or 9th, depending on where you rank Roman Hamrlik). In 15 games, he did not register a point.
Gilroy played the better part of three seasons with the Rangers, and unfortunately did not meet the hype that came with being a Hobey Baker winner. Gilroy signed with the Panthers this offseason to a one-year, two-way deal.
So who do you think is the better Ranger, Gaborik or Gilroy? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Gaborik), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Gilroy). Voting ends at midnight tonight."Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 1, Marian Gaborik (3) vs. Matt Gilroy (14)",